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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 3:47 AM
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Chelsea, MA ~ City Under A Bridge

This is very exciting to me. I love discovering new places (new to me). This week, for the first time, I visited Chelsea. It captured my imagination and I returned three more times this week. I took the pictures for this thread during those visits.

A little info on Chelsea, which is across the Mystic River from Boston. First settled in 1624 and named after the neighborhood in London. Chelsea is the smallest city in Massachusetts in land area. 2.1 square miles, but subtracting water, only 1.8 square miles with 35,177 people. Chelsea is the birthplace of many people. Among those are Horatio Alger and the parents of Barbara Stanwyck. Also, birthplace of the Boston Strangler.

Enjoy the tour of Chelsea and her amazing views:














































































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The following house is called the Bellingham-Cary House. Built by Richard Bellingham in 1659. He was the 8th governor of Massachusetts under King Charles I. Bellingham was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1592 & died in 1672. His properties were tied up in legal action for 100 years after his death. George Washington's men headquartered in this house during the Battle of Chelsea Creek.






















































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Any of you guys looking for a luxurious furnished room? Check out the Diranian below

















































































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I hope you found the tour interesting. Thanks for taking a look!

Last edited by Expat; Apr 15, 2011 at 4:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 4:37 AM
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The Boston area has to be the most intimate of all the large-scaled (meaning, over 5 million) metropolitan areas in the US. This tour proves it to me.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Interesting observation, ColDayMan. I am really enjoying my time in Boston. It is big & complex, but almost always people scale.

Chelsea packs a lot of punch in it's tiny footprint. I had to force myself to stop going back for more pictures.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 1:00 PM
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Thanks once again for your pictures from Boston, MA, Expat!

It´s always a pleasure for me to watch pictures from your beautiful city and its neighbourhoods or districts.

Thanks you for sharing your nice pictures.

Greetings from Madrid, Spain.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 1:03 PM
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Nice tour. Chelsea has some great views of Boston. Lots of nice brick too. I love row houses.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 1:25 PM
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@Danny - Thanks! I love your comments!

@Diskojoe, the views from Chelsea are fantastic. During my visits, I kept thinking about what could be done with a better camera.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 1:30 PM
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Expat, your doing the same thing I did 5 years ago when I was living in Boston--exploring every little corner I could, just to see it.

Great pictures! I really have a thing for Chelsea, it has the history and grit that a lot of inner city Boston neighborhoods lack. And of all the places in Boston it reminded me the most of my home town.

If you ever want some suggestions of cool places in Boston to check out let me know, I've got a whole treasure trove of them.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 1:40 PM
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LMJCobalt, that is exactly what I am doing. Soaking up every corner.

Chelsea really grabbed me. It is unpretentious and filled with life. It isn't what many people would call a 'nice' neighborhood, but I fell in love with it. Love at first sight. My photo tour doesn't begin to capture the essence of Chelsea.

And those views! I went back at different times of day and the views constantly changed with light and activity. Like the ocean, never the same.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 2:20 PM
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Expat, forget about a new camera, you are doing splendidly with that one. Having gone through Chelsea a million times ( i grew up on the North Shore) to see my relatives in East Boston i can tell you that they have done remarkable things in Chelsea in the past 30 years. These pictures are phenomenal and show the character of the city wonderfully. It truly is hidden jewel and many natives , in fact most , are unaware of its attractiveness and it suffers from sort of the same negativity as Lynn does. The state has pumped a ton on money there over the years and it looks like some of it has paid off. I am not sure if you had ever heard of the great fire there back in the 70's. it was the area next to the Tobin Bridge (what an eyesore that is) and it was incredible. I grew up in Melrose's East Side and could see the smoke from there, it was quite a thing.. Anyway, you are doing fabulous stuff here, Expat
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 3:04 PM
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Thanks Sterlippo. I love it when you check in. Being a native, you bring insight. I have not heard of the great fire of the 1970s. I believe I did read about a Great Fire back in the 1800s or 1700s. Curious about what area was effected by the 1970s fire and what is there now.

Chelsea is tiny, but has split personalities. The core is the gritty historic town I tried to show on this thread. On the other side of the highway/bridge is a large area of office buildings, commercial buildings that looks virtually new (1980s, 1990s, 2000s). Strange to me that so much land was available for development. And then there is Admiral Hill residential area. Admiral Hill is extremely respectable and looks completely different than the core of Chelsea. Condos & townhouses, landscaped grounds, all tastefully done with knock-out views of Boston & the Tobin Bridge.

Sterlippo, you described the Tobin Bridge as an eyesore. Actually, I find it appealing. Rusty & powerful landmark. Perhaps I wouldn't feel the same if it ran past my back door.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 4:12 PM
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Yes! I've been digging your Boston coverage, but this is my favorite one yet.

I don't remember how it came up, but years ago I had an epic debate with a friend who was born and raised in Somerville - she thought Chelsea was a part of Boston and not a separate town, despite being from the area. I knew it was it's own town from looking at maps. It really might as well be part of the city.

Anyway, great tour of a kickass urban neighborhood.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 4:47 PM
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Thanks Thundertubs! It is great to get affirmation like that. Makes me want to run back to Chelsea for more pics.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 5:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Expat View Post
Thanks Sterlippo. I love it when you check in. Being a native, you bring insight. I have not heard of the great fire of the 1970s. I believe I did read about a Great Fire back in the 1800s or 1700s. Curious about what area was effected by the 1970s fire and what is there now.

Chelsea is tiny, but has split personalities. The core is the gritty historic town I tried to show on this thread. On the other side of the highway/bridge is a large area of office buildings, commercial buildings that looks virtually new (1980s, 1990s, 2000s). Strange to me that so much land was available for development. And then there is Admiral Hill residential area. Admiral Hill is extremely respectable and looks completely different than the core of Chelsea. Condos & townhouses, landscaped grounds, all tastefully done with knock-out views of Boston & the Tobin Bridge.

Sterlippo, you described the Tobin Bridge as an eyesore. Actually, I find it appealing. Rusty & powerful landmark. Perhaps I wouldn't feel the same if it ran past my back door.
Why thank you, i love looking at your work, as you can tell. The fire was in the area abutting RTE 1 as it makes its final bend before it straightens out as you get on the bridge. the road curves and right in that area was the fire, google it! Admiral's Hill was redeveloped back in the 80's and is stunning. A few of the Red Sox back then lived there (Oil Can Boyd was one) and it you are spot on again, it's like it isn't a part of Chelsea and is inhabited by the wealthy who have no ties at all to Chelsea but boy, what a view. My comment about the Tobin Bridge comes from a bridge aficionado (me!) and that one to me is an eyesore and as do most of the infrastructure in this state it badly needs attention (see Longfellow Bridge, what a gorgeous span and look at it, it's an embarrassing disgrace) and the green color? geesh, you think we could have come up with something more pleasing to the eye? I have another city you might like, my adopted hometown, Haverhill, another hidden jewel that has bad rep. please come to the downtown, you will like but be hungry, we have great restaurants! it is the home of the first Macy's, birthplace of John Greenleaf Whittier, home of the Archie's cartoon, Tom Bergeron and in it's heyday was called "The Shoe City" for it's former prowess in that industry. I can tell that you will like it based on the cities you have visited. Lowell is another in that same category, you could do Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell in the same day as they are all right on 495, have fun!
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:19 PM
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Sterlippo, I am getting to know Greater Boston one photograph at a time.

Just googled the Great Chelsea Fire of 1973. This explains why there is a huge concentrated area of newer office buildings, shopping centers, medical buildings, etc. 18 square blocks were destroyed by a fire wall. 67 fire departments responded from across Massachusetts and one from New Hampshire.

You can be sure I will be visiting Haverhill. Lawrence & Lowell, too. But, not on the same day, because I intend to give each city a thorough going over with my camera. The Haverhill Line stops a couple of blocks from my house. I could be out there in a few minutes by train, but I will probably drive as I will want to explore far & wide.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:28 PM
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This image is so friggin epic! Fantastic Chelsea thread. As a native Bostonian I have to say you even changed my view of Chelsea just from these photos.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:35 PM
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Thanks JBoston!

In every city that I have lived, locals often have the harshest views of their owns neighborhoods. Someone like me comes along and can see it without the baggage. When I approach a neighborhood, I often see the potential and not the reality. It is a weakness of mine and has led to making big mistakes in real estate. It has lead to lucrative outcomes, too.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:55 PM
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Thank you Expat!!! I was born and raised in Chelsea! This thread brings back a lot of memories. I left a year after the 1973 fire. I graduated college (Northeastern) and like many young Chelseans of the time, moved on.

The fire area was the dumpy section of Chelsea. A mix of old industry and delapidated tenements. It was what suburbanites saw when crossing the bridge and they assumed the whole city was like that. There is a fire station on Everett ave. that was the sole survivor in that area. Firemen withdrew into the building and fought the fire from within thus saving the building. If you go back, go to the top of Powderhorn Hill for some excellent Boston views. I watched the fire from where Washington Ave. crosses over Route 1. It was like the pictures I'd seen of people watching the San Francisco fire: a half mile wall of flames moving forward. Several buildings downtown, including City Hall, caught on fire from embers and firebrands but were saved by the firemen.

BTW, Admiral's Hill was the old Chelsea Naval Hospital, thus the adapted historic buildings amidst the new condos.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 7:57 PM
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The last one is definitely my favorite. Boston, in general, is such a nice metro. Thanks for sharing this corner of it.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 9:25 PM
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I stayed at the Wyndham Chelsea last year.. It was marathon weekend and the whole city was sold out. I got nervous after reading some internet comments about what a hell hole dangerous place it was, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't get to explore much, but what I did see was just like you described. Alive, real, amazing. You captured it well.
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Last edited by brickell; Apr 18, 2011 at 2:17 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2011, 10:06 PM
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Wow, it's not every day you get an in-depth look into Chelsea. Probably my favorite Expat thread thus far.

And clearly Chelsea Bridge has nothing on the TOBIN
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